Mike D'Angelo
August 31, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Go (Movie - 1999)

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
04/09/99
performer
Desmond Askew, Taye Diggs, Katie Holmes, Breckin Meyer, Jay Mohr, Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Polley, Scott Wolf
director
Doug Liman
author
John August
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a B+

The desire to recapture the anomalous magic of ”Pulp Fiction” has led to dozens of unwatchable juxtapositions of gut-churning violence and pop-culture trivia, and there was every reason to fear that Go would be yet another example of Tarantino Lite.

But Director Doug Liman (”Swingers”) and screenwriter John August seem to have actually learnedsomething from their source. Telling three interrelated stories of perverse mayhem, they inventively combine QT’s predilection for narrative tomfoolery with the rewind-and-follow-these-guys-this-time structure that Jim Jarmusch used in ”Mystery Train” and ”Night on Earth.”

And while all of ”Pulp Fiction”’s familiar elements — drugs, guns, title cards, earnest discussions of irrelevant minutiae, a thoroughbred cast (Sarah Polley, Timothy Olyphant, Katie Holmes, Jay Mohr) — are present and accounted for, ”Go” has a reckless, rave-fueled energy all its own. For once, the various convergences and digressions don’t feel like trendy posturing.

Why ”Go” failed to attract the audience it deserved still boggles the mind. Maybe kids weaned on popular-stud/high-school-dweebette love stories and football-hero fantasies found this cinematic depth charge, one without a textbook in sight, a little too grown-up; but until it finally peters out, ”Go” actually merits comparison to the Indie That Ate the World.

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